Ortler Ski Tour • March 29 - April 9, 2019

We were back in the Ortler region again this year, joined by Bill Pearson, Tom and Karen Hodgman, and Laura Kreitler.

Other Trips with some of these folks

Bill Pearson

Valle Maira, Italy - February 2017
Albula - March 2014
Zermatt and Saas Fee, May 2013
Silvretta, March 2007
Berner Oberland, May 2006

Laura Kreitler

Lofoten Norway - March 2019
Haute Route April 2018

Return to all recent trips


From left to right: Mark, Bill, Karen and Tom. Karen, sadly, re-injured a knee in the tough snow and had to bail out after our first morning. She was missed!


But wait, you say, where's Laura? She had to join a day late, and caught up with us at our second hut, the Branca.


Day 1, in gorgeous sunshine, we stop mid morning for a coffee at the Zufall hut.


An afternoon jaunt above the Marteller hut.


Where we spent a peaceful first night. We headed out early the next morning...


For our traverse to the Branca hut. We passed by the now-closed Cassati hut. Great view of the Gran Zebru looming behind.


Conditions were extraordinarily firm and frozen on all but the most due-north aspects, so we opted to bypass the steep exposed glacier skiing of the upper Cedec glacier, and accessed its lower reaches instead by tromping down the steep track near the Cassati hut instead. Perfect snow for cramponning, if not for skiing!


Crossing the Cevedale - Pasquale Col.


It took some doing, but we did at last find good snow softened by the mid afternoon sun.


On our first day out of the Branca hut, we went searching out north facing snow. We went to the ridge crest in the far distance.


We found what we were looking for on the upper reaches of the Forni glacier.


Tom enjoying the "variable" snow.


A magnificent setting.


We then took in a second lap on San Giacomo. Laura gets ready to dive in.


Bill takes off.


The snow's tougher down here, but nothing daunt and scarcely loathe, Tom tackles the crud.


The next day we headed out again, with no summit at all in mind, just a theory about where we might find some good snow.


And of course some photo opportunities.


We're headed for that empty smooth snowfield right in the middle of that glacier!


Our efforts were amply rewarded...


Bill showing how it's done on telemark gear.


Laura likes it!


In fact it was so good we had to go back for more.


and more...


... and still more!


Having pretty much trashed the place , we headed home.


After just one more bonus side trip on San Giacomo!


Red lines show our various routes over the two days we spent at the Branca hut.


But of course it's not only about the skiing! Dinner time at the Branca.


A deteriorating forecast made us decide to get up early and head back out to Sulden a couple of days early, in order to avoid the crossing in a coming blizzard and high winds. We headed first up to the Pizzinin hut in the early morning.


Back up over the ridge crest as the flakes begin to genly fall.


Avoiding the hazards left over from long ago wars...


The higher we went, the more thickly the weather set in.


By the summit of the Sulden Spitze we felt happy to be ducking under the wire and heading home!


The following day was too stormy even to enjoy skiing in the resort, on or off piste! No photos of that day sadly, so we'll leave you wtih this image of fairer skies. Thank you to all the team, and we look forward to the next time.